Follow this website homepage design guidelines to make sure you don’t confuse or scare off potential customers
When a user lands on your homepage, your website should tell them exactly what you do and how your website can help them. Are you trying to sell something? Are you a content creator? Who is your audience?
To communicate strategic intent, you must know two things:
- What are your users trying to do at your site?
- What do you want them to do at your site?
At least one of those goals should be a way to monetize the visitor. Clear strategic intent is much easier to achieve when the website has very simplified functionality. Complex websites confuse users.
By keeping your website’s strategic intent simple and enabling users to fulfill their goals easily, you will fulfill your goals. Offering too many options will cloud your strategic intent, and users won’t know if their goal can be fulfilled.
To define the business model of a website, we ask these two additional questions:
- Is the user looking for, content or commerce?
- Who pays the website publisher for successful task completion, the user or the sponsor?
Knowing the answers to these questions is key to designing a website with clear strategic intent.
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Here are a few tips for defining the strategic intent of your website:
- Clear strategic intent is easier to achieve when the website has a theme, very simplified functionality and clear navigation.
- Complex websites without a clear purpose—and/or are filled with competing links and unrelated text or graphics—are ineffective because they confuse users.
- Again, users should know from the very first screen why the site is there, what it offers and how it works.
- That way people who belong there will know what to do. And people who don’t belong there will know right away that they’ve taken a wrong turn on the information highway.
- If users can’t figure out your website, they will not only leave quickly—they won’t come back.
By focusing your website’s strategic intent, rather than having it offer every feature available on the web, it will deliver a clear message to users who will better interact with your website and fulfill your goals.